News, Culture & Society

NUS in Scotland issues Halloween costume offence warnings

Students have been given a lengthy list warning them of all the potentially offensive costumes they should avoid dressing up as this Halloween. 

The National Union of Students (NUS) in Scotland are clamping down on revellers who overstep the mark with their choice of outfit.

A number of inappropriate costumes are available online and many people have hit the headlines in recent years due to their fancy dress.

Yesterday, a man from Dundee sparked outrage when a picture of him dressed as missing girl Madeleine McCann went viral online. Other incidents have included revellers ‘blackfacing’ and dressing up as ethnic minorities.

The NUS today issued guidelines about what they believe is not acceptable and have told students not to wear anything racist, sexist, transphobic, culturally appropriating, ableist, or sl*t-shaming.

The NUS today issued guidelines about what they believe is not acceptable and have told students not to wear anything racist, sexist, transphobic, culturally appropriating, ablist, or sl*t-shaming

A statement on their website read: ‘In recent years, we’ve seen offensive costumes being sold, including costumes that appropriate race and culture, perpetuate sexist stereotypes and make light of the experiences of Trans people and those with disabilities.

‘That’s why this Halloween we’re encouraging you to Check Your Costume! Check and double-check your costume to avoid the exploitation and degradation of others.

‘Don’t let Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia and Ableism be the real Horror this Halloween!’

Last year, a reveller who painted his face black as part of a ‘Grim Reaper’ fancy dress outfit was left humiliated after being barred from a university party in case he caused racial offence.

Ryan Lytwyn, then 22, wore a creepy cloak and smeared his face black to emphasise his ghoulish white and red eyes.

But when he reached the door of the Edinburgh University Student Union Halloween event he was immediately turned away.

Ryan Lytwyn, then 22, wore a creepy cloak and smeared his face black to emphasise his ghoulish white and red eyes

Ryan Lytwyn, then 22, wore a creepy cloak and smeared his face black to emphasise his ghoulish white and red eyes

He fell foul of strict Union rules on fancy dress, which include a ban on dressing up as Mexicans, gangsters, mental health patients and 'camp men'

He fell foul of strict Union rules on fancy dress, which include a ban on dressing up as Mexicans, gangsters, mental health patients and ‘camp men’

He fell foul of strict Union rules on fancy dress, which include a ban on dressing up as Mexicans, gangsters, mental health patients and ‘camp men’.

Ryan, who graduated with a degree in politics from the university earlier this year, said: ‘Everyone thinks it’s ridiculous. I felt like I was accused of blacking up which in itself is offensive to me. It’s also quite bizarre to compare the Grim Reaper to that as well.’

Yesterday, MailOnline reported on a reveller, who sparked outrage for dressing up as missing girl Madeleine McCann and making a ‘cheap dig’ at her parents. 

Daniel Gearie, 25, from Dundee, posted the iconic picture of Maddie, who disappeared from her hotel apartment in Portugal in 2007, smiling in her Everton shirt next to an image of himself in the same top with a blonde wig on.

Alongside the two images, he tweeted: ‘You’ve taken it too far daniel (sic).’ 

Daniel Gearie, 25, from Dundee, posted the iconic picture of Maddie, who disappeared from her hotel apartment in Portugal in 2007, smiling in her Everton shirt next an image of himself in the same top with a blonde wig on

Daniel Gearie, 25, from Dundee, posted the iconic picture of Maddie, who disappeared from her hotel apartment in Portugal in 2007, smiling in her Everton shirt next an image of himself in the same top with a blonde wig on

He then appeared to defend his actions, saying: 'And before you say 'this is sick' etc I know it is but I'm not the one who left a child unattended in a Portuguese hotel' 

He then appeared to defend his actions, saying: ‘And before you say ‘this is sick’ etc I know it is but I’m not the one who left a child unattended in a Portuguese hotel’ 

He then appeared to defend his actions, saying: ‘And before you say ‘this is sick’ etc I know it is but I’m not the one who left a child unattended in a Portuguese hotel.’ 

His post on Saturday night went viral and sparked outrage among Twitter users, who branded him ‘sick’ and ‘vile’. And a family spokesman for the McCanns described it as ‘cretinous behaviour’.  

Speaking to MailOnline yesterday, Mr Gearie said he was ‘disgusted’ by his own actions and issued an apology to the McCanns.

Similar warnings were issued in American college campuses, which shamed a number of high profile celebrities. 

In 2010, hotel heiress Paris Hilton, at a Playboy mansion Halloween party in 2010, dressed up as a 'Native American woman' (pictured)

Just five years later, in 2015, sister Nicky HiltoN attended a Halloween party in Hollywood also dressed up as a 'Native American woman' (pictured)

In 2010, hotel heiress Paris Hilton, at a Playboy mansion Halloween party in 2010, dressed up as a ‘Native American woman’ (left). Just five years later, in 2015, sister Nicky Hilton attended a Halloween party in Hollywood also dressed up as a ‘Native American woman’ (right)

Actor Colton Haynes was a repeat offender, first dressing as Kanye West in 2011 (left) and painting his face and hands in dark brown paint

Then, in 2012, he dressed up as Gandhi (right) for a Halloween party. He also sported brown face paint for that costume

Actor Colton Haynes was a repeat offender, first dressing as Kanye West in 2011 (left) and painting his face and hands in dark brown paint. Then, in 2012, he dressed up as Gandhi (right) for a Halloween party. He also sported brown face paint for that costume.

While not outright prohibiting any costume, administrators at US Universties are using letters, campus forums and advertising campaigns to encourage students to pick outfits that don’t offend classmates of color.

Some, like the University of Texas at Austin, issued a flyer encouraging students to consider how a costume aligns with an organization’s values and whether it is ‘reflective of a certain racial group, gender, and/or economic class’.

It also includes a list of harmful themes or costumes: any painting or tinting of skin, stereotypes of Asian culture, cowboys and Indians, or south of the border/fiesta. Comic book heroes and time period themes are fine.    

Universities across the US are urging students in search of an attention-grabbing costume this Halloween to pass on sombreros, Native American headdresses and blackface. This photo shows one such poster at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham

Universities across the US are urging students in search of an attention-grabbing costume this Halloween to pass on sombreros, Native American headdresses and blackface. This photo shows one such poster at the University of New Hampshire campus in Durham

Some see the move as a way to start a conversation about cultural appropriation. This billboard from Southern Utah University asks students to not wear costumes that represent a culture

Some see the move as a way to start a conversation about cultural appropriation. This billboard from Southern Utah University asks students to not wear costumes that represent a culture

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.